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Author Topic: Proto-christs: what christianity did or did not 'steal' from paganism (and vice versa)  (Read 13202 times)
bobthesane
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« Topic Start: April 19, 2007, 10:36:49 am »

*scratches his head*

How does Jesus equate with Baldr?

Moderator note:  This was originally part of the "Spectacularly Bad Information about Paganism" thread in Pagan Religions 101.  You may wish to go look at the following post to see what Bob's replying to here:
http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=646.msg10024#msg10024

It was left in the original thread because I'm not sure we can copy as opposed to moving, and it still seemed to be in the context of the original thread.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2007, 07:24:17 pm by Star » Logged

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« Reply #1: April 19, 2007, 07:55:35 pm »

*scratches his head*

How does Jesus equate with Baldr?

The issue was solar gods.  Balder's best known legend involves his death at the hands of Hod, the blind god of darkness and winter, as one of the lead ups to ragnarok.  He is resurrected post-ragnarok with the new world.  The concept of a dying and reborn god of light is meant to represent the dying sun at winter.  Other examples include the greek Persephone (did not literally die, but was taken to the underworld) and the egyptian Osirus.  Dying and resurrected Jesus Christ aquired this meta-legend as Christianity spread to the Romans and other european cultures.  This is why his birthday is celebrated in December, to coincide with the winter solstice.  (In the julian calendar the solstice fell on Dec. 25) 
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« Reply #2: April 19, 2007, 08:07:34 pm »

Other examples include the greek Persephone (did not literally die, but was taken to the underworld)

That would cause some real arguments within the Greek Recon crowds. I can't fathom someone tying Persephone to a Jesus figure at all.
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« Reply #3: April 19, 2007, 08:36:46 pm »

That would cause some real arguments within the Greek Recon crowds. I can't fathom someone tying Persephone to a Jesus figure at all.

*nods* My brain's broken more than once reading through this thread.

Note:  "This thread" here refers to the Bad Information on Paganism thread, where things were considerably less serious and more wacky.
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« Reply #4: April 19, 2007, 09:40:37 pm »

That would cause some real arguments within the Greek Recon crowds. I can't fathom someone tying Persephone to a Jesus figure at all.

You don't see the Persephone myth as a metaphor for winter/spring?  I thought that was the entire point of the story.
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« Reply #5: April 19, 2007, 09:42:24 pm »

You don't see the Persephone myth as a methaphor for winter/spring?  I thought that was the entire point of the story.

I don't see that as having anything to do with Jesus Christ.  Totally different.

Winter/spring is also going to be a bit of an argument. Some people think it's actually more relating to summer in Greece. Not sure how prevalent that one is anymore, but it's one interpretation that Martin Nilsson had.
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« Reply #6: April 19, 2007, 09:52:31 pm »

*nods* My brain's broken more than once reading through this thread.
Yours and mine both - but that happens to me a lot - here and in life lol
Maybe I'm just used to it...... Shocked

Note:  "This thread" here refers to the Bad Information on Paganism thread, where things were considerably less serious and more wacky.
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« Reply #7: April 19, 2007, 09:59:03 pm »

Quote
I don't see that as having anything to do with Jesus Christ.

There was an pre-existing myth cycle in a number of cultures that used the story of a dying and resurrected god/dess to explain why seasons exist, especially why the earth seems to die in winter, only to be reborn in the spring.  There is little evidence to claim that this was the origin of Christ's resurrection, but it is certainly true that by the time Christianity reached northern europe his resurrection had been connected with this myth cycle.  In Germany, for example, the Christkind (Christ-Child) explicitly connected the "Light of the World" with the returning light of the sun.  The tarot card, the Sun, depicts the Christkind in his usual form as a young boy.
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« Reply #8: April 19, 2007, 10:05:39 pm »

There was an pre-existing myth cycle in a number of cultures that used the story of a dying and resurrected god/dess to explain why seasons exist, especially why the earth seems to die in winter, only to be reborn in the spring.  There is little evidence to claim that this was the origin of Christ's resurrection, but it is certainly true that by the time Christianity reached northern europe his resurrection had been connected with this myth cycle.  In Germany, for example, the Christkind (Christ-Child) explicitly connected the "Light of the World" with the returning light of the sun.  The tarot card, the Sun, depicts the Christkind in his usual form as a young boy.

Dioynsus frequently gets shoe-horned into that role. It really doesn't work well. I've read the book (can't think of the name of it offhand) where the authors do the different dieties to prove this was what the Christians stole from to get Christ.

I got to about page 30. When I took a look at the festival they were trying to give Dionysus, it wasn't just the wrong month, it was the wrong deities. I was really unimpressed with their book.

Generally I'd refer Koi to this thread because this comes up on occasion and since she's our resident Christian theologian, she gets the fun of doing the Christianity rebuttals. Unfortunately, she's teaching a course this semester and isn't available right now.
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« Reply #9: April 19, 2007, 10:06:58 pm »

General side note:  If there's going to be a serious discussion of how Christ may or may not relate to Persephone, Baldur, and/or other myths, might I suggest it be taken to its own thread?  This is the "spectacularly bad info" thread, so...  Maybe I'm just tired (it's about bedtime here), but this is starting to look less "ha ha, look how bad this is" and more serious, and that might get confusing in the context of the thread.

If that is indeed what's going on.  If it's not, my apologies and never mind me. Smiley
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« Reply #10: April 19, 2007, 10:10:29 pm »

General side note:  If there's going to be a serious discussion of how Christ may or may not relate to Persephone, Baldur, and/or other myths, might I suggest it be taken to its own thread?  This is the "spectacularly bad info" thread, so...  Maybe I'm just tired (it's about bedtime here), but this is starting to look less "ha ha, look how bad this is" and more serious, and that might get confusing in the context of the thread.

If that is indeed what's going on.  If it's not, my apologies and never mind me. Smiley

I was just thinking the same thing.
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« Reply #11: April 19, 2007, 10:21:23 pm »

Quote
If there's going to be a serious discussion of how Christ may or may not relate to Persephone, Baldur, and/or other myths, might I suggest it be taken to its own thread?

That's a good idea.  How about "Proto-christs:  what christianity did or did not 'steal' from paganism (and vice versa)"

Pagan Religions 101 or Gods, Goddesses and Mythology, which do you think would be more appropriate?
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« Reply #12: April 19, 2007, 10:24:59 pm »

That's a good idea.  How about "Proto-christs:  what christianity did or did not 'steal' from paganism (and vice versa)"

Pagan Religions 101 or Gods, Goddesses and Mythology, which do you think would be more appropriate?

Daecon,

I think I'd go with the latter one, but I will tell you that thread will most likely get hot. This is a topic that has come up on TC occasionally and it generally gets some pretty heavy attention. I don't think we've had a thread on this board on it, but I know we've had at least one on each incarnation of TC. It's a popular topic in some respects.
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« Reply #13: April 19, 2007, 10:27:10 pm »

Daecon,

I think I'd go with the latter one, but I will tell you that thread will most likely get hot. This is a topic that has come up on TC occasionally and it generally gets some pretty heavy attention. I don't think we've had a thread on this board on it, but I know we've had at least one on each incarnation of TC. It's a popular topic in some respects.
Makes me think we need a TC definition of popular.....
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« Reply #14: April 19, 2007, 10:32:20 pm »

Makes me think we need a TC definition of popular.....

LOL...you may have a point.
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